Prediction, speculation and forecasting into the future of the digital age are close to impossible. Anyone who claims differently is lying or has somehow gained access to a DeLorean. Within creative agencies, the benefit of hindsight is never more valued than it is in the new media industry, so many mistakes could have been avoided and so many trends could have been set with some simple crystal balling. However, as it stands, all we can do, as an agency is to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve and keep our clients ahead of the competition – which usually results in a lot of bedtime reading!
An overview of digital media in its entirety would be the length of a scientific paper. By reviewing the highlights below, we provide some of the headlines that will dominate 2013 from our perspective.
Big Data is big news
The quantity of data now available for utilisation across all industries is phenomenal, 90% of data available today has been created in the last two years at a rate of 2.5 quntillion bytes a day according to IBM. How that data is managed and processed is going to be one of the key factors in the success of the digital age.
Exploitation of networks and the availability of ‘real time’ data will become common place. In the interests of technology advancement it is likely that an opt out policy will be in place instead of an opt in policy to share any data and information that is available online.
This is one of the headliners as ‘Big Data’ will spur a knock on effect throughout every corner of the online world.
The personalisation of cyber security
With the ever-ready availability of digital data, comes the concern of security and how to manage the threat of cyber intrusion on a personal, company wide or even national level. Norton Anti-Virus no longer cuts the mustard and even Macs are no longer immune to the threat.
We predict that cloud technology will develop at a rate where the ‘personal cloud’ is available in the coming year. Individuals will use this as a standard practice in defending their personal information against attack, as well as protecting themselves against unwanted online interaction.
Online Leviathans rule
We are already seeing the amalgamation of several different internet functions into one core service. Google’s merger with YouTube is the perfect example of this activity. We also see Google replicating existing successful services such as Evernote, with their own version. Alongside the growth of Big Data, we are going to see more covert tactics in user manipulation online through a very limited number of providers.
For businesses, this will mean re-strategising entire campaigns, as the user becomes au fait with multi-channel web browsing as the services are merged. People of the future will not have a preference in media consumption as social media, e-commerce, knowledge and web browsing are all delivered through one platform.
E-commerce is going to be making huge strides forward in how it operates. If you found Facebook advertising and Amazon recommendations intrusive enough, it is going to be delivered on a whole new level in the very near future.
The theory that you will no longer have to search for what you want because it will find you sounds like an Amazon fantasy but it is much closer than you may think. If you have ever searched for something online, then made a real time purchase but still been inundated with the advertising, the synching of your financial information and personal data will mean that purchases and preferences will be logged and a tailored approach will be taken to each individual in their entire online experience on the whole of the web.
There are still more questions than there are solutions to the advancement of technology and each step forward into the digital age will only bring more. The sporadic leaps ahead and the legislation that will indisputably follow, will ultimately mean that adopting an online presence will become a minefield of pitfalls and difficulty, that will undoubtedly require expert assistance.
Digital media management (DMM) will soon roll off the tongue as easily as other industry terms like PPC and SEO. Pioneering this approach to online management across the entire spectrum of online activity, allows for a more connected and integrated user experience that will ultimately resonate with the overall brand of any product or service.
Looks like a whole lot of bedtime reading for us as an agency.
Ferrier Pearce Creative Group
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